Flying cars anyone?
Uber announced on Tuesday that it’s partnering with Dallas and Dubai to make the idea of flying cars a reality.
Speaking at Uber’s Elevate Summit in Dallas on Tuesday, Uber’s chief product officer, Jeff Holden said:
“Imagine if you get up in the morning and go on a six-minute flight, Versus an hour in a car and wasting time.”
The ride-hailing company organised the three-day summit to bring together people from aviation technology, venture capital, vehicle manufacturing and regulation to discuss and assess the feasibility of flying cars.
At the moment there are a few startups working on flying car technologies with support from some big names, like Google founder Larry Page, aerospace firm Airbus and the government of Dubai.
Uber is hoping to demonstrate its own fleet of flying cars by 2020 but as of yet, the company still has to come up with a working prototype.
It is hoped that by partnering with city governments, like Dallas and Dubai, it can speed up that process.
Jeff Holden said, “The race is on and it’s a sprint in Dallas and Dubai to get to scale,”
Uber’s ambition to have a fleet of flying cars is outlined in a 99-page white paper released by the company last October.
The white paper was dubbed “Uber Elevate,” which is the basic idea to build a network of small electric aircraft called VTOLs (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) that can take off like a helicopter.
These futuristic aircraft are far more efficient and less noisy and cheaper than a helicopter and in the future, most people will probably own a flying car a park it in their drive quite like they do today with regular cars.
Uber appears to be quite serious about its flying car project as In February, they hired former NASA engineer Mike Moore as its director of engineering.
Uber also announced on Tuesday that it’s partnering on technologies with a group of aviation companies including Bell Helicopter, Embraer, Aurora, Pipistrel and Mooney.
Holden continued, “We’re doing what we call ‘big bold bets’. If you’re not planting the seeds for five to ten years out, you’re not going to have a company in ten years.”
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